Girls tennis returns veteran squad to the courts
Last updated 3/14/2023 at Noon
The Lady Outlaws return 13 players to the varsity squad this season and will add four new players to give extra depth to the team. Last year the team finished third at Districts, and this year they feel they can do even better.
Leading the Lady Outlaws will be junior Juhree Kizziar, who will once again be a force at the No. 1 singles spot. Kizziar had a great season last year as a sophomore, finishing as runner-up at Districts. She was also a state quarterfinalist.
“Juhree is an experienced player with exceptional defensive skills and court coverage. Her complete game has improved,” said Coach Bruce Fenn. “She hits her forehand harder, moves through the court with faster speed, and her service speed has also increased. She is very athletic, competitive, focused, and has a great will to play her best. Her net play has become more confident with a complete arsenal of volleys and overheads. Her serve is much better, with faster pace and placement, and she can end the point with confidence.”
Brooke Harper (junior) will play No. 2 singles. Last year at that position she finished with an 8-3 record and made it to the third round in Districts.
“Brooke moves well with great anticipation, has a strong-hitting forehand, is very smart, and doesn’t make unforced errors,” said Fenn. “She has the ability to defend and hit winners on her forehand side.”
Starting out at No. 3 singles will be junior Katie Ryan, a returning varsity player from the 2020 team. Fenn stated that Ryan has good hands, moves well around the court, places the ball, and makes her opponent run.
Rounding out the singles will be senior Cadence Dahl at the No. 4 spot. Dahl is a second-year player whose strengths lie in her foot speed, her hustle, and her will to win.
Starting the season at No. 1 doubles will be senior Josie Patton, who played at that position last year, and her new partner, junior Charlotte Seymour.
Fenn noted numerous qualities about Patton.
“Josie is very athletic, has great hands, is competitive, has good forehand groundstrokes and forehand volley, and a powerful first serve,” said Fenn. “Josie moves fast and covers a lot of court space, and is a good doubles player.”
Of Seymour, Fenn said, “Charlotte is athletic and covers the court really well. She’s fast and can hit on both sides of her body. She’s a good doubles player and can change the outcome of the match by her strong play.”
Senior Lanie Mansfield and junior Leah O’Hern, who played No. 3 doubles last year, will move up and start as the No. 2 doubles duo. Fenn stated that their experience playing together is their major strength as they know each other’s moves and can act accordingly to win the point.
“Lanie is very focused, tries her best all the time, has a nice forehand groundstroke and an effective approach shot going to the net. She also has good foot speed and her forehand volley is very effective,” Fenn said. “Leah also has a good forehand groundstroke and forehand volley. She moves around the net to block shots, and covers the court well. She has good foot speed and competes and never gives up.”
At No. 3 doubles will be sophomore Sophie Rush and freshman Ava Stotts, who is new to the team this year. Rush is a competitive player who is quick around the court and has good hands. Fenn noted that Rush has a fast first serve, and a fast forehand ground stroke. Stotts is also competitive, moves well on the court, and has a strong forehand.
Filling out the doubles teams will be senior Adrianna Luna and sophomore Jasmine Luna at No. 4 doubles. Adrianna is very consistent and had good lobs that are very effective against her opponents, and Jasmine has improved on all her shots.
Also back for another season are Molly Greaney and junior Presley Adelt.
Fenn told The Nugget that Greaney is a good doubles companion, has a good forehand, gives her best effort, and supports her teammate. He noted that Adelt is athletic, moves well, and has great hand-eye coordination.
Four freshmen are new to the team this year: Ava Stotts (No. 3 doubles) Ryle Buick, Ava Riehle, and Emma Long.
“The entire group looks athletic and excited to play their best,” said Fenn. “Kizziar will set the example of what it takes to play your best and that will give the whole team incentive to learn and become better tennis players as well as better students in the community.”
Fenn shared with The Nugget that the only position that is set is stone is Kizziar at No. 1 singles. Players will compete for positions, and lineups may change. All team members will have a chance to play on the varsity squad.
The Lady Outlaws’ first home match was Monday, March 13 against Crook County at the middle school courts. They were also slotted to play at Bend on Tuesday. They will wrap up their week on Thursday, March 16, with a match at Mt. View High School.